Paul’s Perambulations

January 30, 2008

Unjust War and St. Augustine

Filed under: Peace,Religion — admin @ 11:34 pm

Most people associate Unjust War Theory with Aquinas, but Christian thinking on this issue originated much earlier with St. Augustine. The current Iraq War is clearly unjust according to principles espoused by Aquinas and other Unjust War theorists such as Grotius. But what would Augustine have to say today?  Although we cannot directly query him on the Iraq War today, his principles were meant to be timeless. When we see the vengence (e.g., execution of Saddam Hussein and threats of revenge on Osama Bin Laden) and lies (e.g., WMD) that characterize the current war, the war clearly does not represent a “benevolent severity” motivated by the “caritas” that Augustine requires. Nor was it ever declared by the proper authority, which is not a Bush “monarch” but our Constitution that requires that only Congress can declare war. All of the following text is taken directly from the references cited in parentheses: (more…)

March 5, 2007

Unconditional Love

Filed under: Love,Peace,Religion — admin @ 10:47 pm

There are two things of which I am certain. That I love my wife Fran. That I cannot particpate in war. I experience them as complementary.  The tangible love that I feel for my wife enhances the more conceptual abhorrence of war.  Love for my wife helps me directly comprehend that war, in destroying such life and love, is totally unjust. I describe my love as unconditional love. I find this to be an amazing and life-changing conviction. It does not mean that I never get angry.  Fran and I are blessed to be amazingly well matched, but we are not perfect.  But in this instance I believe that perfect love, in the sense of being forgiving, understanding, and having total confidence in one’s love, is achievable. Such love blesses both the giver and the receiver. It is a feeling that is so rare and special, that for me it is experienced as a gift from God. This experience becomes part of the tangible evidence for the love that God has for all human kind, and has the effect that I become a channel for expressing this love to the world through my resistance to war.  War destroys love; war is a denial of God.

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